The art of mistakes
It's taken me quite a while to believe that I am an artist. It's not that I was trying to reject it as a label, to the contrary, I love being what an artist stands for. It's like a free ticket to weirdness, being an artist makes acceptable to be different, even mandatory.
I saw a quote the other day though that got me thinking, it said 'creativity is allowing yourself to make mistakes, art is knowing which ones to keep.'
This really struck a chord with me and it was the word 'mistakes' that rang in my head. The reason for this is because I feel like I am constantly making mistakes in my art. I felt like I was always having to fix stuff.
Because of this I felt like I simply wasn't good enough. How could I call myself an artist if I couldn't create what I initially intended? Or if paint splayed out unintentionally, or even when working digitally, lines didn't go where they should?
But the quote made me rethink my story. I wasn't making mistakes because I wasn't good enough, it was simply part of the process.
They say in writing that the biggest part is actually rewriting and I think this applies to art too. You make some marks and then you can see where they should be. The act of getting something down makes it possible to be objective and them move closer to where they should be.
I think that this applies to life in general too. We can be so hard on ourselves for making mistakes, but it's just part of learning. Similarly if we don't fail then it means we aren't trying.
I have been listening to some interviews with Brené Brown and she talks about the inevitability of failure. The act of trying will ultimately lead to failure. It's a bit like surfing too - you will never learn to ride the waves if you don't fall off them.
So, I'm learning to be okay with my mistakes, because I'm discovering that it's actually pushing me forwards. Having to fix things makes me quite analytical and actually the solution comes from 'seeing' the problem.
I am not a perfect artist. I am a gloriously imperfect, mistake making artist who likes to tinker until things look nice. But I definitely am an artist.
I just wanted to share some of the images I have put onto wood. Each piece is finished with glitter and I just the way that makes each piece sparkle and shine. I really want to do a video for you to show my process.
I have listed these pieces on my Etsy shop and each piece really is one of a kind.
Thanks for looking!
Vulnerability and branding
It's a funny thing being an artist. Being creative tends to come with a high degree of sensitivity that can make you feel pretty vulnerable. Last week I found out that I didn't get through to the next round of The Global Talent Search and I was pretty disappointed. I knew that the competition was really high and I was pretty inspired by the other entries, but not getting through still felt like a rejection and it made me question my art.
Questioning your art is pretty close to questioning your sense of self. It's very personal and the two are so interelated that it's hard to tell which is which. It almost boils down to 'if you don't like my art, then you don't like me.' I try not to make absolutes, but my art is the combination of interests and aesthetics combined with my ability to convey that in the best way I can.
Art is also business though and in the case of The Global Talent Search, business is the core factor. Art director Lilla Rogers is Miss Make Art That Sells and she knows what works for her brand and what does not. My problem is that I love her brand. I love the artists she represents and would dearly love to be part of that.
The reality however is that my work would not sit easily within her agency. It would frolic around like a naughty fairy that could not sit still.
It it took me a while to realise that and a little longer to be okay with that. My work is always evolving and maybe one day it will fit inside a more commercial category, but in the meantime I am happy to have creative freedom.
I keep hearing mentors saying that the gatekeepers are gone, that there are no barriers to publishing your art, publishing a book, putting anything out in the world. You have to choose yourself. You have to believe in yourself. It reminds me of when Atreyu in The Neverending Story faces the Oracle. He knows that if he doubts himself then he will be killed. The eyes of the oracle open as if to blast him to smithereens, but what saves him in the end is that he runs. He doesn't let his fear cause inaction. Moving forward saves him!
It's a good lesson as self doubt can be paralysing and so I have been taking action and trying to work out my next steps.
Being rejected has actually been kind of positive. It's made me reevaluate myself and my brand Glitter and Earth and try to work out where my work ends and where I begin. I really love social media and I love connecting with people, but I have actually boxed myself into a fairy cage that wouldn't let me express my true feelings. Because I thought that I had to be positive and 'magical' all the time I felt like I couldn't fully express my own vulnerability.
There was a disconnect and this silenced me. I didn't want to express anything that was 'off brand'.
Learning that being vulnerable is also very connecting has been useful. When you are brave enough to share your fears you find support in others and you also find out that it's okay to not be 'perfect' all the time.
I really admire the artist and Life Book founder Tamara Laporte for being so open about her thoughts and fears - I think it is really brave and I want to be more open too.
Sometimes social media can be dangerous as it can be tempting to see 'likes' as self validation. When you don't get much feedback it can spark feelings of self doubt and unworthiness. I am starting to realise that you should only share when you are sure enough in your own self . Feeling good should not be determined by a set amount of social feedback. It's definitely useful in terms of getting feedback and working out what is popular, but it certainly shouldn't be a determiner of how you feel about yourself.
I tend to use 'likes' now as a gratitude practice. I am thankful for everyone that likes and comments on my work and I say 'thank you' every time I get a notification
Listening to Creative Live - 30 days of genius is also really interesting and helpful. Brené Brown is pretty much THE speaker when it comes to vulnerability and I found it really useful to hear that I am not alone in how I think, or the creative struggles that I have. In fact, it's all kind of standard territory, but it's like we are only just gaining a vocabulary for it.
Through the connectivity and community of the Internet, creatives are able to empower themselves and learn through the strategies and ideas of others.
I went in search of support to Lucy Magicmaker, the author of the Marmalade series and she was great at generating ideas and support. I no longer felt alone in my little artist bubble, but instead felt reassured and emboldened to think creatively and unconventionally.
I am now working through a few ideas that I am excited about as well as having fun building up stock to sell at craft fairs/exhibitions. It's challenging and fun and I'm loving the process.
They say that a picture says a thousand words, but I get it now that pictures aren't always indicative of how I feel or who I actually am and so I need to share that in other ways. Social media connects me to YOU and I am so thankful for that, but I don't want to be just a brand, I want to be a person.
My name is Jacqueline Wild and I am an artist. A happy, creatively driven artist that believes the world is beautiful and wants to share that magic. Sometimes it isn't always fairies and unicorns though and I am determined to be more present instead of retreating into silence when life gets tricky.
Thanks for reading! I'd love to know your thoughts on the Internet and how the idea of community is changing. We live in fascinating times! Best wishes and fairy kisses xxx Jacs. Xxx
sunshine and swimming
The lovely warm weather and my fabulous Billabong Spring suit have opened up a whole new world of wild swimming for me. Last weekend I had a swim at Porth Gwarra, which is a small cove along from Portcurnow (where the amazing cliff side Minack Theatre is) and had a swim with a seal! It was a really exciting experience and the seal swam underneath me which also made me a bit nervous. But what was really lovely was the amazing blue water that reminded me of dreams I used to have as a child.
I don't know if you have tried swim in a full wetsuit but it's really awkward as it is so floaty and you don't feel so connected to the water. My spring suit is pretty light weight though and so it keeps me warm enough whilst enabling me to play in and out of the water in comfort. It's great with Tabitha too as she is in and out of the water and it makes for the perfect thing to wear. It's even supportive enough of my boobs to chase after Tabitha, which is great and makes running more comfortable than when I am in my normal clothes.
So I am really excited about the prospect of getting a new car! Hurrah! I sold my old one at the beginning of the year and have coped pretty well without it. However recently I have started getting pangs of jealousy when my husband is able to just go off on his own for a surf or whatever and I'm left at home having to think about how to keep my little one entertained without going crazy.
There is potential for me to do some more craft fairs and a car will definitely make that easier for me. It will also mean that I can explore some more coves for some wild swimming and even get some surfs in too! Tabitha is starting nursery in September and so I have some freedom and adventures calling to me!
the global talent search
I have been really excited about the global talent search and would happily chat away to anyone willing to listen! It was a really enjoyable project - something that I have never done before - and I loved having to consider how the different items, the napkin, saucer and tea-cup, would interact and support each other.
I did consider creating an alternative submission, but I got drawn back into an old project that needed finishing and just couldn't muster the drive to do it all again.
I kept getting flashes of images that I wanted to play with, jungle scenes and dreamlike images, but I couldn't visualise the different elements and how they would all tie together. I do a lot of visualising before I start work and run through lots of different combinations. In the end I just felt tired and wanted to reignite my passion for illustrating.
I have found that even just the focus of trying to 'Make Art That Sells' is a useful one, but I don't want it to stop me from exploring things that make my heart sing.
So, now I have submitted my entry for The Global Talent Search and have to patiently wait until next Friday to see if I am one of the 50 lucky artists that get to go through to the next round. Until then, I have got an idea in my head of creating fairy worlds and incongruous images inside of crystals and I am very excited to see what that turns out like.
Anyway, thank you so much for reading! I'd love to know what you are excited about right now.
Best wishes and fairy kisses xxx Jacs xxx